Premier League

Premier League: Newcomers Brentford Upset Arsenal in Season Opener

Brentford beat Arsenal 2-0 in Premier League season opener on Friday.© AFP

English Premier League:Friday, August 13
Brentford 2-0 Arsenal

Brentford made a blistering start to their Premier League football as goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard earned a 2-0 win over Arsenal in front of a first-ever full house

The newly-promoted outfit, playing their first season in the top flight for 74 years, rose to the occasion in stunning fashion in front of a packed house as they proved too good for a limp and fragile Arsenal side.

Sergi Canos put Brentford ahead in the 22nd minute and Christian Noergaard headed in the second in the 73rd after Arsenal failed to deal with a long throw-in, handing the promoted club a perfect start to life in the Premier League in front of nearly 16,500 fans at the Community Stadium.

Arsenal crash to a 2-0 opening night defeat at newly promoted Brentford
BRENTFORD, ENGLAND – AUGUST 13: Ben White of Arsenal controls the ball under pressure from Bryan Mbeumo of Brentford at Brentford Community Stadium on August 13, 2021, in Brentford, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

A clean sheet after full-time rounded off a famous win for Brentford as they ended their first night in the Premier League on top of the table.

No Key players for Arsenal

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Arsenal was without three senior strikers, with illness ruling both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of contention, while Eddie Nketiah failed to shake off a pre-season injury.

The absences gave Arsenal academy product Folarin Balogun a chance to lead the line in his full competitive debut for the Gunners, while full debuts were also handed out to new arrivals Ben White and Sambi Lokonga.

Arsenal player ratings vs Brentford: 2-0 opening day defeat
Arsenal players left the pitch frustrated after suffering a 2-0 defeat to newcomers Brentford

Managers react

“What an atmosphere,” said Brentford manager Thomas Frank. “The first time in the top-flight, we are opening the Premier League season and for our own fans, they can dream. We are top of the league.

“We are going to celebrate every win, but we want more.”

By contrast, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is already under pressure.

“I don’t think we deserved anything different,” said Arteta in a damming indictment of his side.

“A lot of young boys were doing everything they can. For some of them it was the first experience in the league – that says a lot,” added Arteta, as he appeared to make a plea for more funds before the end of the transfer window.

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Mikel Arteta issues apology to Arsenal fans after opening day defeat to  Brentford | Metro News
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta looks in dismay after his team was floored on the night

“What I can control and help, I’ll put all my enthusiasm and work into that.”

The Gunners have finished eighth in each of his first two seasons in charge and the Spaniard has a daunting task to turn things around before the September international break with title favourites Chelsea and Manchester City to come in Arsenal’s next two games.

How both teams started

Brentford: David Raya (GK), Christ Effer Ayer, Pontus Jansson, Ethan Pinnock, Sergi Ganos, Christian Norgaard, Vitalya. Nelt, Frank Onyega, Rico Henry, Brian Mbuomo, Ivan Toney

Arsenal: Brand Leno (GK), Calum Chambers, Ben White, Pablo Marie, Kieran Tierney, Albert Zambia Loconka, Granit Xhaka, Nicholas Pepe, Emile Smith-Row, Gabriel Martinelli, Folarin Balokan.

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